by Mark Stuertz –
Texas is in peril of slipping from red, to purple, to blue. So says former Army Lieutenant Colonel and U.S. Congressman Allen West (R-FLA). “Texas is on the target list right now,” said West, pointing to the Texas flag. “Once upon a time Colorado was a red state. But as people left California and went to Colorado, they slowly turned Colorado from red to purple and now its blue. If you don’t think it can happen here in Texas…”
West insisted that Texas officials should be extremely cautious when attempting to lure businesses and industries from California and other beleaguered blue states to Texas. Such refugees tend to bring their destructive politics and policy prescriptions with them, he said.
West made his remarks May 4 in Dallas during a fundraiser at the home of grassroots conservative activist Debbie Georgatos, author of Ladies Can We Talk?, a conservative appeal to women. West soliciting funds for his Guardian Fund, a PAC founded to support minority veteran candidates with a solid conservative bent. West’s goal: raise $6 million to support a slate of a dozen, vetted candidates around the country in state and national elections.
West unleashed criticism of the Republican establishment and its strategic blunders during the last election. “Why was it that no one in the 2012 election cycle went into a black community and talked about failing schools and talked about the number 1 issue in the black community: school Choice?” He asks. “We totally blew that…We have a party that is paralyzed by fear.”
West, who’s contentious and unsuccessful 2012 bid to retain a Florida congressional seat, resulted in allegations of fraud and a lawsuit filed by True the Vote, the Houston-based organization founded to ferret out voting irregularities. West said his upstart congressional bid was frustrated by a lack of support from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
It’s the same lack of support he sees repeating itself in Massachusetts, where former Navy SEAL and Republican newcomer Gabriel Gomez is running for John Kerry’s Senate seat in a special election June 25. Gomez is trailing Democratic Representative Ed Markey by just 4 percentage points–40 to 44 percent–according to recent PPP poll. Gomez has yet to receive support from the Republican Senatorial Committee.
Grassroots Oblivious to OFA Threat
West also issued a stinging wake-up call to conservative grassroots activists. “Organizing for America did not go away,” he stressed. “Organizing for America is out there right now. They’re knocking on doors. We need to knock on doors.”
West said Republican precinct captains and grassroots activists need to be touching base with their voters right now if they want to avert a route in the 2014-midterm elections. They should be contacting people in their precincts at least once a month, building relationships and highlighting how economic conditions have deteriorated since January 2009. Instead, they’re sitting on their hands or fiddling with tangential issues.
He suggested activists walk the streets with an economic data card pointing out conditions such as the plunge in workforce participation and the sharp rise in gas prices.
‘“How much did it cost you to fill up the minivan?”’ he asks. “You gotta make it personal. People react to an individual, not a phone call.”
According to the Associated Press, black voters outperformed their share of the electorate in the 2012 election, eclipsing turnout rates among other minorities and surpassing white turnout for the first time. What happens if organizing for America generates that same electoral strength among blacks during the 2014 midterms—elections in which they traditionally don’t show up in large numbers?
“Don’t laugh because a person says they’re a community organizer,” West advises. “Guess what? [Obama] community organized [to victory] in two election cycles.”